A Chapter 16 writer reflects on her life in Paris since last week’s terrorist attacks
by Liz Garrigan
November 20, 2015 We moved to Paris just shy of five years ago because, above all, we wanted our sons to become global citizens, to learn another language, to go to school with children from countries the world over, to see more of the world than a more conventional life in the United States would allow. But the very centrality and symbolism of Paris is what’s now making us all feel more vulnerable than we ever have.
Published Friday, 20 November 2015
The Southern Festival of Books is a lot like the state fair—but better
October 9, 2015 Twenty-seven years ago, if you had asked me about the best time to visit Nashville, I would have said the second weekend in October—the weekend of the Southern Festival of Books. It’s a guaranteed good time. Rain or shine. At the festival, just showing up to hear the same author is considered invitation enough to engage your seatmate in conversation. Attending the Southern Festival of Books is the closest a visitor can come to being an instant insider in Nashville, where the New South begins. If you asked me that question today, I would say the same damn thing.
Published Thursday, 8 October 2015
Decades after first reading Walden, Michael Sims still finds Henry David Thoreau exciting and challenging, maddening and inspiring
by Michael Sims
July 27, 2015 "When I first read Thoreau as a teenager, I quickly realized that I had found a magic carpet to my own rural Tennessee world. Henry helped me see and hear and smell my own woodland paths, and my own pond, with fresh senses." Michael Sims will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.
Published Sunday, 26 July 2015
Novelist Steve Stern found his fictional world by searching for a lost Jewish tradition
by Steve Stern
June 1, 2015 I grew up wanting something I couldn’t name. I was raised in the Reform Jewish “tradition,” though the word here is gross hyperbole. The temple I attended as a kid in Memphis represented a variety of Judaism designed to be invisible, to blend indistinguishably with the Christ-haunted Southern landscape. As a consequence, I was virtually untouched by tradition and had not even an awareness of its absence. Nevertheless, one Sunday, playing hooky from confirmation class, I went exploring the old red brick pile of our temple along with a couple of partners in crime.
Published Sunday, 31 May 2015
Taking a love of the printed word to a new level
May 8, 2015 When one of my old friends finally asked me what exactly I was doing in Nashville, I said I was working in a letterpress shop that specialized in nineteenth-century printing techniques. I left out the fact that I wasn’t being paid. Even so, at the moment, it sounded a whole lot better than toiling away at law school.
Published Thursday, 7 May 2015
There are times when the only recourse to automotive despair is Neil Diamond
by Morey Hill
April 24, 2015 It started off with a low, quiet groan. The kind of noise my roommate, Chet, makes when I mention things like “utility bills” or “soap.” Although something clearly wasn’t right, I just didn’t want to spend the money to get it fixed. It was a subtle noise, and my approach was to drown it out—I turned up the radio.
Published Thursday, 23 April 2015
Perhaps history is anything that is found in the past and repeated in the future
April 20, 2015 The steps to our little balcony seem narrower each time, my hands tracing the delicate staircase. I forget the feeling of cool metal under my fingertips and dust that covers every millimeter of space until I have made it to the top, realizing what I’ve missed all along. There stand my grandparents in the doorframe with stolen time in their skin and longing in their veins.
Published Sunday, 19 April 2015
An only child contemplates her unlikely path to motherhood
April 20, 2015 My parents entered into marriage under the duress of an unplanned pregnancy, and spent the next nine brutal years locked up together, punishing each other for the mistake. By the time I graduated high school I had decided that I would never have children.
Published Sunday, 19 April 2015
A Chapter 16 writer considers the complications of kindness
March 25, 2015 One day in early January the weather reports were full of breathless predictions about a brutal cold snap on its way. When I drove by Leon’s house that afternoon I saw the dog out there, and knowing it would soon shiver in a sub-zero wind chill, I suddenly couldn’t take it anymore. It was unbearable to continue doing nothing.
Published Tuesday, 24 March 2015
At a time of new beginnings, novelist Adam Ross contemplates his past
by Adam Ross
January 5, 2015 “I write these words as a man with a Ph.D. in failure, and I commenced my subject’s study on the day I decided to become a writer, a life-changing choice I made in 1986, after taking a creative-writing class my sophomore year at Vassar College. How many times did I fail? Let me count the ways.” As the rest of the country makes resolutions for self-improvement, celebrated Nashville novelist Adam Ross considers the value of failure.
Published Monday, 5 January 2015
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